The KI Core Visualization Facility at MTC (KIVIF)

The KI Visualization Facility (KIVIF) at MTC started in January 2004 and was officially inaugurated by the President of KI, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson November 2005. The goal is to provide researchers at the Karolinska Institutet with frontline imaging technology in combination with technical support, and imaging-related expert advice within the frame of their own scientific projects.

KIVIF Policy and Price List 2017

KIVIF Policy

KIVIF Price list 2017


Facility Manager


Pontus Aspenström

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 871 88
Organizational unit: Pontus Aspenström group

Biomedical scientist

Katalin Benedek

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 862 64
Organizational unit: Pontus Aspenström group


Marc Panas

Organizational unit: Gerald McInerney group

Leica Confocal Microscope TCS SP5

This is a continuous spectrum fluorescence microscope that covers the excitation range from 470 to 700 nanometers using a white laser illumination source. The user can freely define three simultaneous excitation wavelengths and a transmitted light capture in a single image acquisition setting. The ranges of emitted wavelengths are freely adjustable. Full lambda scanning both for excitation and emission is available. Optical sectioning and time-lapse imaging is also available along with a number of scanning modes to record low intensity fluorescence.

The recommended primary use of this system is high-resolution 3D reconstitution of cellular structures detected by multiple fluorescence labeling.

STED super-resolution microscope

There is a second Leica TCS SP5 microscope fitted with a 592 nm STED laser. The primary use of this microscope is STED analysis but it can also be used for conventional confocal microscopy. The system allows imaging at a resolution down to 30-40 nm.

Live cell and TIRF microscope

We have a Zeiss Axio Observer.Z1 microscope equipped with Laser TIRF 3. The system is ideal for live cell imaging over long time-periods.

In addition to wide-field microscopy, following modules are available:

  • Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP)
  • Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF), which allows visualization of structures in close proximity to the plasma membrane
  • Differential Interference Contrast microscopy (DIC), to image unstained material
  • Interference Reflection Microscopy (IRM), to image structures attaching a surface

Available light sources:

  • Argon laser for excitation at 458,488 and 514 nm. The system has in addition a solid state 561 nm laser.
  • LED-light for excitations at 365, 470 and 590 nm.
  • HXP Mercury lamp
  • White light

Laser Microdissection System

This system uses a patented principle, Laser Microdissection Pressure Catapulting (LMPC) for laser based non-contact extraction of tissue areas, single cells or subcellular biological specimens. The PALM MicroBeam IV laserdissection system from Zeiss fulfills the unique combination of criteria apt to applications including:

  •        Non-contact laser microdissection and high-purity specimen capture of single cells or morphologically defined tissue areas. Quick access to thousands of cells due to, specific software and non-contact collection.
  •        Large variety of different techniques and samples can be processed i. e. frozen-sections, cell-cultures, cell smears, paraffin embedded tissue, cytocentrifuged samples, cells on filters, chromosomes, living cells, wet and dry samples. 
  •        Contamination-free microdissection of living cells, ideal for isolating cell clones.
  •        Laser-microdissection instrument with real scanning functions, gives possibility to work in a fully automated way with a large number of cells.
  •        Image processing software for fast slide scanning, automatic cell identification and subsequent computerized laser microdissection.
  •        Microdissection under fluorescent light. Freeze-mode when working with living cells - no photo bleaching.

Fluorescence Microscopy

There are several microscopes for epifluorescence microscopy and light microscopy at KIVIF.

  • Zeiss 200M, inverted
  • Nikon Eclipse TE300, inverted
  • Leica DMRE, upright
  • Nikon Eclipse E400

They have a selection of filters (DAPI/FITC/TRITC/far red). Three of them have been updated with new cameras and software.

Imaging analysis

We have one work station for Imaging analysis using the IMARIS software. This software allows you to analyse data mainly in 3D/4D, e.g. tracking particles in time and space or building a 3D cell model.


When you want to analyze your tissues or cells with light microscopic or confocal microscopic methods, Histology Facility can offer you:

Services, Equipment & Training


  • providing fixative solution and holders
  • formaldehyde, formalin, and acetone fixations
  • wax embedding of tissues and cells
  • cutting of wax embedded or frozen tissues
  • section staining: PASD, hematoxylin-eosin etc.
  • immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence of intra- and extracellular components
  • light microscopy


  • Learn to prepare your tissue blocks, to cut and stain them yourselves.
  • Note: A short introduction is always mandatory for permission to work in the histology lab.